I'm having my wine cellar built now and the insulation contractor has
used 'FSK' foil-backed insulation in all stud bays. On the
interior-facing walls, the foil is on the outside of the studs with
foil tape ensuring that there's a seal. On the exterior facing wall,
they put the FSK foil into the stud bay and then placed fiberglass
batts into the bay. The FSK in the exterior facing wall is loose and
not contiguous from bay to bay. I've read that 6 mil poly vapor barrier
should be left loose in the bays running contigouously along the length
of the wall, with the batts placed in the stud bays after the vapor
Should the insulation contractor remove the FSK on the exterior-facing
walls and put up a 6 mil vapor barrier? If so, thould the poly replace
the FSK foil, or be used in addition to the FSK?
There is some information missing here. Is this an above ground, below
ground, within the house, or a free standing exterior wine cellar?
Regardless of which though, I personally think fiberglass batts are not
such a good idea because of mold growth potential. I'd spray foam
between the studs to fill voids and seal off the vapor issue, and then
mount the finish interior wood or whatever you are putting in there.
Sheetrock is also a poor choice, but you have too, use the green stuff
used in bathrooms or the new no mold stuff, and paint Spray foam has
superior R-value to foam batts and serves as a vapor barrier itself.
Besides the looks, there's a good reason why redwood makes for a good
interior wall surface--it doesn't decompose even if mold occurs. The
bubble wrap radiant foil might work well too, if you cover the walls
with racks to reduce the glare.
BTW, have you figured out what kind of cooling system to use? If
insulated properly, you don't really need the expensive A/C units sold
for the purpose. Just get one of those free standing units that vents
through a 4" hose, and set to the lowest setting--about 60F. Some
units freeze up easier than other at low temperatures, but 55F is too
low really anyway, unless you don't mind waiting a few years longer for
your wines to age. Stability is more important than absolute
temperature, although anything above 70F is harmful to the liveliness
of the grape "fruit" essences.
Finally, make sure that you have a good amount of display racks to show
off your best labels natural eye level, and with lighting that hits
there. I'd put two of these, with simple stacks reds above and whites
below for the remainder of case or half case purchases, and then a
special display rack along a smaller wall for single bottle gifts or
other strays that end up in your collecton. Depending upon your
cellar, you'll also want a display area for magnums and other big
bottles that won't fit in the regular bottle shelving. All of this can
be a DIY project, for better effect and saving thousands off the
Unless you live in the desert and have a really large cellar, the
tasting table and glass rack will probably go unused. Serious tasting
isn't really done in the cellar, given the poor lighting anyway.
Insted fill the cellar for aging, put a lock on the door, and put in
the kitchen or family room a small glass door style beverage
refrigerator for storage of soon to be consumed bottles.
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